Issues of Interest

Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet in January agreed to accept a $4 million lease buy-out from Palace Entertainment which cleared the way for Silver Springs, one the of state’s oldest tourist attractions, to become part of the adjacent state park, Silver River State Park. The north Florida attraction, famous for its glass bottom boats, has been plagued with low-attendance and pollution, which has clouded its once-clear waters. The lease, which was set to expire at the end of 2029, now ends September 30, 2013.

Governor Rick Scott recently announced all twenty-three state colleges with baccalaureate degrees have accepted his “$10,000 degree challenge”. The colleges must develop bachelor’s degree programs costing students no more than $10,000 in fields that will provide graduates with the best opportunity for employment.

Attorney General Pam Bondi recently announced Florida will get an estimated $8.6 million share of a national settlement with a loan processing company, Jacksonville-based Lender Processing Services, over improper mortgage foreclosure practices. The most notable among them was “robo-signing,” where a person signs foreclosure documents without first-hand knowledge. Florida’s share will go into the state’s general revenue fund, minus the cost for investigation and litigation. The total settlement is $120 million for forty-six states and the District of Columbia.

The Florida Lottery adopted a new logo for its 25th anniversary. Since the first scratch-off game in 1988, the Lottery has paid more than $37.7 billion in prizes to winners and generated more than $24 billion for education in the state. The Lottery provides more than $1.3 billion per year to the education budget.

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